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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 7 January 2003 Issue

Abbatoir Trails - The Myth of the Compassionate Hunter

One of the most commonly used (and completely false) arguments of hunters when they wish to pretend that killing animals is somehow "good for the animal" is that by shooting the animal they are saving that animal from death either by starvation or being eaten by a predator.

Imagine if we were to accept that argument. What would killing wild animals on the basis of this argument actually result in?

Well, if the hunter is actually filled with concern for the animals' welfare and is killing them to prevent them from starving or being eaten that means that the hunter must kill the entire species in the same way! Why would it be good to help one animal avoid being eaten by a predator and not to help all of the others?

Is the human hunter killing a herbivore, an omnivore or a carnivore?

If the hunter is killing an animal which would have been eaten by a predator such as a coyote or a wolf then the coyote or wolf will starve from the lack of a prey animal. The prey animals have been killed by the hunters. That means that the hunter (if he or she is actually filled with compassion for the animals) will now have to kill all of the predators to prevent them from starving too!

Now (in our little scenario) the hunters have killed all of the prey animals so that those prey won't be eaten by the predators and the hunters have also killed all of the predators so that those predators won't starve. So now in the name of "compassionate hunting" the hunters have killed all of the wild animals and there is now no food chain left.

All that is left now is the producer of energy and the human (who can only eat vegetables because there are now no animals.)

That's what would be the actual outcome of following the hunter's false reasoning

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